Thursday, July 29, 2010
About the Aging Artist
I am an expert on this topic as I have some years of first hand experience. I am very attentive to how others have done it and encouraged by certain histories. Titian was said to have done his best work in his nineties. A dear friend that I have mentioned here before reached 93 painting with greater strength than ever. Willem DeKooning was deep into Alzheimer’s disease and painting well. William Utermohlen’s self portrait journaling of his descent into the same terrible illness is an incredible look from the inside. The self portraits become increasingly expressive as he is taken over by the illness.
Despite severe arthritis, Matisse worked from his wheelchair till age 81, and Monet continued painting into his 80's even with encroaching blindness. Georgia O’Keefe lost her eyesight and turned to pottery. And she hired a studio assistant to execute some of her ideas for paintings.
The aging artist’s brain ages as do most brains, but the part that paints seems to hang in pretty well. I found the following quote at: Creativity & Aging: Women Artists Aging Artfully
“while it is true there will be physical limitation that comes in very advanced age, creativity knows no boundaries; it is never too late to live expressively creative; and creativity allows for a life of successful aging and aging wellness at any age.”
I have to admit to some concern about this issue. I’m not finished with it yet.
The image above is Sunbow 18" x 36" Acrylic on Paper Adhered to Canvas ©2000 Joan Gold